Sulfur for Controlling Fleas on Dogs

By Floyd Drake III

Many flea control products exist on the market today, from drops to traditional flea powders and collars. These products, although effective, may contain chemicals that many people would rather not have in their household, or on their pets. These chemicals include Amitraz, Fipronil and pyrethrins, which are possibly harmful, and are regulated by government agencies. All-natural flea control remedies have been around for ages, with sulfur being one of the most common.

Sulfur Properties

Sulfur was first classified as an element in 1777 by Antoine Lavoisier, and is believed to be the ninth most common element in the universe. It normally occurs as a sufide, sulfate and in its basic, elemental form. Usually found in volcanic and sedimentary deposits, sulfur is also found in pyrite, galena, gypsum and barite. Pure sulfur is tasteless and odorless and does not dissolve in water, although it gets its trademark rotten-egg smell when it is mixed with oxygen in the sulfate process.

Sulfur on Dogs

Sulfur is not a pesticide; it is merely a natural prevention method for flea control on dogs. The best way to use sulfur as flea control is to incorporate small amounts of it into the dogs diet, which gives the dog's skin a distinct scent that fleas and other parasites avoid. Natra Turf recommends 1/2 tsp. every three days for smaller dogs and a full teaspoon for larger dogs.

Using Sulfur Outdoors

Another common use for sulfur as a flea controller is to spread it around the lawn and in bushes -- places where fleas normally congregate. Apply by using a seed or fertilizer spreader, or spread it lightly throughout the yard. Fleas will avoid areas where the sulfur is present, making it less likely they will hitch a ride on your dog enroute to your house. Since sulfur does not dilute in water, it remains present after a rain storm, or the when the grass is watered.

Other Benefits and Warnings

Sulfur is also important for collagen synthesis, which aids in healthy hair for dogs and hooves in livestock animals, according to Natra Turf. Another positive effect of sulfuris is that it helps make vitamins, biotin and thiamine and the insulin hormone. Since the sulfate form of sulfur commonly used has a heavy rotten-egg smell, it is recommended to apply it in light doses around the yard and when feeding your dog. Too much sulfur will make your yard and dog smell like sulfur.